The BOSU® Balance Trainer has rapidly become part of our group fitness classes. Its versatility makes it a great addition to almost any format; however, it is essential to acclimate students to the dome’s uneven surface before warming up.
For a safe and successful class, teach participants how the body reacts on the BOSU by introducing moves that generate warmth in the muscles as well as the mind. This will help students adapt and feel more confident, opening the door to greater learning and participation.
Yomenco combines yoga movements and breathing exercises with flamenco dance rhythms. Program creator Bruce Van Horn, chief executive officer of Yoga for Business Inc. in Spring Valley, New York, teaches Yomenco to nursing home residents in the New York metropolitan area. “Many of my students are in wheelchairs,” says Van Horn in a press release. “Their energy and enthusiasm for this type of physical stimulation carry them through the session. The movements enhance their stamina and markedly improve their mental state.”
Foam rollers have long been used in rehabilitation clinics as a multipurpose tool to improve core stability, balance, proprioception, soft-tissue mobility and body awareness. Now these versatile devices are being seen in Pilates mat classes, weight rooms, athletic training centers, physical therapy clinics and yoga studios.
Resistance tubing is one of the most convenient and versatile pieces of equipment available today. According to the 2004 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey, it tops the list of 15 types of equipment most often provided by program directors. It’s inexpensive, durable and easy to store, making it a perfect addition to the fitness toy box.
Personal training has branched into numerous subspecialties, extending its reach to include a wider audience. The diversification is good for the industry, but there are still many paths waiting to be discovered. Personal training in the water is one of them.
Fitness Caching is an outdoor training program wherein participants use a hand-held GPS (global positioning system) receiver to hike, locate and find a “hidden” treasure called a cache. Creator Leigh Crews will lead this class during the IDEA World Fitness Convention® in San Diego, July 8–11.
Indoor cycling integrates motivating music, mind-body synergy and unparalleled training benefits. The devotee accepts no substitutes. For others, however, indoor cycling feels more like an hour of pain and suffering than an hour of cardiovascular bliss. Instructors have done a wonderful job of putting this format at the forefront of fitness. Now it’s time to introduce cross-training to the die-hards, craft inviting classes for beginners and create a total-body workout that is inclusive and fun.
Twenty years ago, if a friend said she was going to “aerobics,” you had a pretty good idea what that entailed. Today, however, that same person might attend any number and style of group exercise classes, including high-low, step, kickboxing, funk, hip-hop, cardio dance and circuit training, to name only a few. These diverse choices only scratch the surface. All of them can be mixed and matched to create fantastic format blends. While not a new concept, combination classes offer myriad benefits to instructors, program directors and participants.
Many group fitness instructors use traditional Pilates
exercises in the core-conditioning sections of their classes. However, some of these exercises are too difficult technically and can set the average participant up for frustration. If an individual doesn’t have the strength or the biomechanics to perform the traditional roll-up, for example, then she might use incorrect muscles and injure herself. Yet the roll-up is taught in most classes.